Rollins

Moore Receives NSF Grant to Support Undergraduate Research

July 22, 2021

By Stephanie Rizzo ’09

Physics professor Thom Moore’s research project will focus on understanding the basic physics and acoustical impact of cylindrical and rectangular pipes in flue organ pipes and recorders.

Physics professor and student work with lasers in Rollins’ anechoic chamber.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Physics professor Thom Moore has been awarded a new three-year federal grant in the amount of $391,279 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant will support his continued research with physics professor Whitney Coyle and a team of undergraduate students in the area of musical acoustics.

The award, part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) program, is intended to facilitate research by faculty at predominantly undergraduate institutions and encourage educational opportunities for undergraduate students. The award marks the fifth RUI grant for Moore since 2007 and will fund up to six undergraduate research positions over the next three years.

The project will focus on understanding the basic physics and acoustical impact of cylindrical and rectangular pipes in flue organ pipes and recorders. Results can be used to understand the many scientific and industrial situations that involve oscillating or flowing air contained within a metal or wooden duct. As part of the work, a method for optically imaging gas and fluid flow over a large area will be developed and optimized for imaging airflow at room temperature.

Additionally, a computer simulation will be developed and validated with the experimental results so that the effects of changing the physical parameters of the pipe can be investigated theoretically. A significant effort will be made to recruit students traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering, including women interested in pursuing scientific research as a career.


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